White Island / Whakaari is an active marine volcano, 48km north of Whakatane. Get there two ways – by helicopter as we did with Kahu NZ (formerly Frontier Helicopters) or by boat with White Island Tours.
White Island from above
White Island is a submerged stratovolcano, it is made up of layers of ash and lava flow and 70% of the cone sits under the sea. The volcanic vents under the water produce hot air bubbles and some fishermen have said they’ve caught precooked fish!
We caught a helicopter as we decided it was a once in a life … Read the rest
Scope – Wild About Flavour, add the hunting magazines on the rack and you have a few clues that wild food is a theme here. The menu includes a Mai Mai Duck Open Sandwich ($23) and a Venison Burger ($23). Venison and blue cheese pasta is sometimes on the specials menu, and a venison sausage is part of the Hungry Hunter Big Breaky ($23.90).
Venison burger and curly fries at Scope
A large deer antler chandelier hangs over the counter and stag heads feature on the unusual wallpaper. There are also handy stag head coat hooks on the back of … Read the rest
If you’re someone who loves Christmas whatever the time of year, or you like to go all out with your decorations and are looking for new ones to add to your collection, then you’ll like The Christmas Village in New Plymouth. It’s open Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10am-4pm for most of the year.
Father Christmas resting up for the big day at The Christmas Village in New Plymouth
The village is brimming with beautiful decorations, I especially liked the lanterns and lamp posts but decided my budget fell more in the Christmas angel range. Lay-by is an option for … Read the rest
Graffiato: Taupo Street Art Festival returns over Labour weekend and 10 more walls will be turned into works of art. It’s the 8th year of the festival in 2018 and the current street art trail map (downloadable via the link above) helps you find 30 of the art works that have been created over the years.
New Zealand has some captivating street art and sometimes I think I’ve found a favourite art work or artist and then around the next corner – ‘wow, another favourite’. In Taupo it was more ‘bow wow’ as it was the realism of the dogs … Read the rest
Te Puia combines Maori culture, our national icon – the kiwi bird, and geothermal activity on the city’s doorstep, 3km from Rotorua centre.
Visit during the day to spot the two brown kiwi in the Kiwi House and see geothermal features including the naturally erupting Pohutu geyser. Watch Maori carvers and weavers at work, and walk onto Rotowhio marae with its carved wharenui (meeting houses) and pataka (storehouse). Cost – from $54 per adult (add on options available). (Discount for New Zealand residents and locals).
Pataka (elevated storehouse) at Te Puia in Rotorua
The evening experience adds more Maori … Read the rest
Lake Okareka Walkway is around 5.5 km return. The first 2km to Silver Beach is flat and easy going, the last .5km or so to the Okareka outlet requires some uphill climbing including stairs.
The last .5km of the track is narrower, it’s not too difficult but it’s not accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs. It took us about 2 hours return to do the walk but we dilly dallied watching birds with binoculars and taking photos.
Two pukekos in a paddock – Lake Okareka Walkway
Lake Okareka Walkway starts on Acacia Road where you will find a car park and … Read the rest
The exterior of the Len Lye Centre in New Plymouth is eye catching and impressive. The 14 metre tall structure is made of concrete clad with stainless steel. The curved stainless steel reflects and plays with light making the outside of the centre an art piece in itself, and probably the most photographed building in Taranaki.
Exterior of Len Lye Centre/Govett Brewster Gallery
Who was Len Lye?
Christchurch born Len Lye (1901-1980) was an artist who made films, wrote poetry and painted, he also became known for his kinetic sculptures. Len Lye spent most of his life overseas, his connection … Read the rest
Road signs, digger scoops and an unexploded bomb are some of the items people have reused and repurposed to make curious letter boxes ……
Road marker letter box
Digger scoop letter box
If not, Morrinsville is a small town in the Waikato that’s big on cows – farming them and turning them into street art to help tell the story of the town’s history and heritage.
Herd of Heathcotes painted by Helen Rowlands (39)
The Herd of Cows? website has a street art trail map so you can find the 48 members of the colourful herd and read about the artists that painted them. Some of the art work on the cows is wonderfully whimsical, and one of the cows is a whopper – Mabel the 6.5 metre tall mega cow stands … Read the rest
Maybe I have too much time on my hands, but after seeing the neat historical clock in the Old Bank Arcade in Wellington I thought I’d look for other curious clocks around the country. There’s no better place to start than a clock museum …..
Claphams Clock Museum, Town Basin, Whangarei
Claphams Clock Museum in Whangarei has over 1600 clocks and timepieces. The collection was started in 1961 when the Whangarei City Council paid a token sum for 400 clocks belonging to local man Archibald Clapham.
Gymnast alarm clock at Claphams Clock Museum
Archibald was an aspiring clock-maker turned clock … Read the rest